How well do you know Coach K? As the winningest coach in college basketball history approaches 1,000 wins, ESPN's Dana O'Neil dives deep on Mike Krzyzewski's childhood, at once deconstructing the common destined-for-success myth while revealing just how utterly normal -- even goofy -- Coach K can be. The result is one of the must-reads of the 2014-15 season: "Pro wrestling was popular among the boys, and they liked to imagine themselves as stars of the ring. Krzyzewski was partial to Edouard Carpentier, who excelled at a maneuver called the rope-aided twisting headscissor. He and Wrobel formed one tandem, called themselves the Flying Fortresses. Together they'd battle their nemeses, Tom "Porky" Stepek and another boy, who competed under the alter egos Exquiso and Supremo. [...] We should probably stop here and imagine this for a second: Mike Krzyzewski with a towel turban on his head. Coach K putting a half nelson on a buddy, calling himself a Flying Fortress. 'Why is that funny?' Stanislawski asks. 'It's what we all did. We just had fun -- good, clean fun.'"
At 7-0 in league play, with one of the nation's most balanced and efficient offenses, and with a trip to BYU already long since handled, Gonzaga's odds of rolling through the rest of its West Coast Conference schedule unbeaten remain as high as ever. But if there is a non-BYU team that looks most likely to jump up and challenge Gonzaga, it's Saint Mary's -- which has its own star forward in Brad Waldow and is likewise 7-0 in advance of Thursday night's trip to the Kennel. The Gaels' best chance to unseat Gonzaga is still a Feb. 21 date in Moraga, California, but weird things happen in rivalries, and the Gaels-Zags rivalry sure looks like it's back.
Ken Pomeroy's latest database wrinkle, the MinutesMatrix, was designed to offer at-a-glance roster configurations and demonstrate how specific team's lineups have changed over the course of a season. But in designing it, Pomeroy wrote Thursday, something else became clear: "In looking over some of this data, it is striking how rare it is for a team to stick with one starting lineup through the entire season. According to my information, a total of seven teams made it through last season with just one starting lineup: Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Providence, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Utah Valley and Wisconsin. Collectively, these teams went 93-31 in conference play, which is part of the equation for lineup stability."
New Mexico guard Hugh Greenwood's mother is battling secondary breast cancer. Last year, Greenwood started the Pink Pack fundraiser to support his mother and other women fighting the disease. Apparently, some heinous Twitter cretin thought this information was fair game, and spent Wednesday afternoon harassing Greenwood with jokes about his mom. After Greenwood scored 22 points in UNM's big 71-69 win against UNLV, he was asked on camera what allowed him to have such a big game. Greenwood didn't hold back: "Actually, it was a man on Twitter. I'm not going to shout him out; he doesn't deserve to," Greenwood said. "Talking about my mom battling secondary breast cancer, he was making cancer jokes all afternoon, talking about bringing my mom to the game in a hearse. There's a line, and it gets crossed, and I was mad about it tonight. Got my first dunk since my freshman year, and I credit it to him tonight, because that's what motivated me."
So, yeah, it was just a game against NAIA program Hutson-Tillotson (which, thanks to an NCAA scheduling quirk, counts as one of Baylor's regular-season nonconference games without factoring in at all to the team's RPI), but still: Ricardo Gathers had 11 offensive rebounds and 17 defensive boards en route to a 25-point, 28-rebound Wednesday night. Poor Hutson-Tillotson. They had never seen anything like Rico.